Won-ton Insolence

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When Richard Nixon ran for governor of California in 1962, his campaign went badly from the very beginning, in large part because a secret $200,000 loan from the defense contractor Howard Hughes to Nixon’s brother Donald was no longer a secret. Everywhere the candidate went he was asked about it. His nerves were already taut when he arrived in San Francisco’s Chinatown to do more campaigning, and he nearly unraveled when he opened a fortune cookie to discover the message “What About the Hughes Loan?” It had been placed there by the Democratic political prankster Dick Tuck.